SFI Colloquium: ‘Informational Principles in the Perception-Action Loop’

Daniel Polani. Courtesy/SFI

SFI News:

Santa Fe Institute Colloquium • Tuesday, March 18 • 3:30 p.m. • Noyce Conference Room • 1399 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe

Daniel Polani, University of Hertfordshire, presents “Informational Principles in the Perception-Action Loop.”

Abstract.  Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety (1956) and, in last years, especially its later rediscovery and extension by Touchette and Lloyd (2000, 2004) have indicated that Shannon information acts as fundamental “currency” constraining the potential organization and “administration” of cognitive tasks. In particular, there is increasing evidence that decision processes in biological organisms in fact exploit the limits implied by aforementioned work, and can therefore be subject to analysis with respect to information-theoretical optimality principles.

Under this hypothesis, many aspects of biologically plausible cognitive processing can be treated informationally, requiring only high-level constraints without having to specify detailed mechanisms. This gives rise to novel tools not only for high-level analysis of biological cognitive systems, but also for purposes of prediction and construction of biologically plausible artificial cognitive models.

The talk will give an introduction into the question and methodology and demonstrate its operation with a number of examples.

SFI Host:  David Wolpert

The Santa Fe Institute is a nonprofit research center in Santa Fe. Its scientists collaborate across disciplines to understand the complex systems that underlie critical questions for science and humanity. The Institute is supported by philanthropic individuals and foundations, forward-thinking partner companies, and government science agencies.